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The Odyssey Background Notes

Homers World p. 1088

Examining the Homeric Epics


1. The Iliad and The Odyssey were composed around _________________ in
Greece.
2. Both stories were first told _________________, perhaps even
______________.
3. The poems are credited to Homer, a ________________ poet.
4. The most popular translations were done by
____________________________.
5. The three important elements of these two epics are the
________________________________, ______________________________________,
and the _______________________________________________________.

The Trojan War


1. The Trojan War took place around ____________________.
2. According to legend, __________________, a Trojan prince, was responsible
for starting the war.
3. He is said to have kidnapped _________________, a beautiful woman, from
her husband Menelaus, the ___________________________________.
4. Menelaus then recruited kings and soldiers from across
___________________ to fight back.
5. The war lasted for _________ years.
6. The Iliad takes place during the __________ year of the war.
7. It tells the story of __________________, a Greek warrior, and his
disagreement with ______________________, Menelaus brother.
8. Eventually, Pariss brother __________________ is killed.
9. Odysseus, king of _____________________, helped bring the war to an end
with his cleverness.
10. He ordered that a giant _________________________ be built and that
___________________________ would hide inside.
11. The _____________________ saw the horse and brought it inside their city
walls.
12. During the night, the Greek soldiers crept out of the horse and attacked
the city. Troy was ___________________.

The Heroic Story of Odysseus


1. The Odyssey deals with _______________________ adventures as he makes
his way home from ________________.
2. Odysseus left troy with a fleet of ______________________ and ___________
men.
3. He encounters various _________________ who try to destroy him and
___________________ who try to seduce him.
4. What sets Odysseus apart from others is his _____________________, the
ingenious tricks he uses to get himself out of difficult situations.

The Intervention of the Gods and Goddesses


1. The gods and goddesses on __________________________ add to the
conflicts in Homers epics.
2. __________________, the goddess of war and wisdom, supported the
______________ during the Trojan war. __________________ was her favorite
warrior.
3. _________________, on the other hand, the goddess of love, sided with
________________ and the ___________________.
4. As a result of angering some of the gods, Odysseus is forced to suffer
___________________________ before he returns home to _______________.

Homer: The Epic Poet


1. Scholars have debated whether Homer _______________________________.
2. According to history, he lived sometime between
_______________________.
3. _________________ are singers who made up their verses as they sang.
4. Homers epics became models for later writers, including the Roman
poet _________________, __________________ in the Middle Ages, and
______________________ during the Renaissance.
5. The novel __________________ by James Joyce and the movie
__________________________________________ were inspired by Homers
works.

The Epic Notes p. 1094


Characteristics of the Epic
1. An epic is a ______________________________________________________.
2. It recounts adventures of an ______________________, a larger-than-life
figure who undertakes great _______________ and performs great
_______________ requiring remarkable strength and cunning.
3. Epic hero:
a. Possesses superhuman _________________, ___________________, and
____________________.
b. Is helped and harmed by __________________________________
c. Embodies ________________ and __________________ that a culture
considers admirable
d. Emerges victorious from _____________________________________
4. Epic plot:
a. Involves a long journey, full of complications such as
__________________________, _____________________________________,
_______________________________, and _____________________________
5. Epic setting:
a. Includes _________________________ or ____________________ lands
b. Involves more than one _____________________
6. Archetypes:
a. All epics include archetypes, _______________,
_____________________, and ______________________ that are
recognizable in many times and cultures
b. Examples: ______________________, ________________________,
__________________, __________________________,
____________________________, _____________________________
7. Epic themes:
a. Reflect _______________________, such as ________________,
______________________, _______________, _________________________,
_______________________, _______________________________

The Language of Homer


1. A simile is a ___________________ between two ____________ things, using
the word _____________ or __________.
2. An epic simile is a ___________________________________________________.
3. An epithet is a brief ____________________________ used to characterize a
particular ________________ or __________________.
4. Two examples of epithets are _________________________ and
_______________________________.
5. An allusion is a reference to a famous _______________, ________________,
or ___________________.
6. An example of an allusion is when Odysseus son says, _______________
______________________________________________________________________.

Reading the Epic


1. We will read The Odyssey as a _______________________, as
______________, and also as a __________________________________________.